Wednesday, 28 April 2010

A Wet but Pleasant Day at Narawntapu

Earlier this month we went with friends to Narawntapu National Park having virtually guaranteed they would get a good view of a wombat. Upon arrival it was dull, overcast and the place seemed to be devoid of life bar a couple of ravens flying overhead.

We took a walk to the lagoon bird hide and along the way we did spot a few Pademelons. We also found some nice fungi. The shot below is a little over exposed as I had not yet figured out how to reduce the flash intensity on the new camera and did not have the manual with me.

Fungus along the track to the hide
(ID Suggestions welcome)

Half way to the hide, the heavens opened up and we got a good drenching. From the hide itself there was not a lot to be seen. Even the ducks were taking shelter. However, we did get good views of some Hoary-headed grebes which were feeding just in front of us. According to the Birddata site they are fairly common around here but I rarely see them. A lull in the rain allowed for a couple of photographhs. Indeed, these are the first photos I've managed to get of them.

Hoary-headed Grebe - Poliocephalus poliocephalus
Breeding plumage

Hoary-headed Grebe - Poliocephalus poliocephalus
Non breeding plumage

On the far side of the lagoon there was a mob of Forester Kangaroos but too distant to get a photo. We returned to the main picnic area and enjoyed a good BBQ lunch and some shelter from the continuing showers. Finally I spotted a couple of wombats through the binoculars. We started walking up the Springlawn track in the hope of a better view but after only 100 metres or so we were called back. A wombat had made an appearance. It was a little wet like the rest of us but at least it allowed me to shoot a few photographs.

A rather wet Wombat - Vombatus ursinus

Wombat close up - Vombatus ursinus

A Bennet's Walaby also made a brief appearance before returning to the shelter of the scrub.

Bennet's Wallaby - Macropus rufogriseus
The little streaks in the photo are rain drops.

So despite the rain it wasn't a bad day out. We only seen 12 species of bird. The best sighting was the Dusky Woodswallows. There were only about 5 within the park but along the roadside outside the park there were 100's of them busily feeding. No doubt they were preparing to migrate to a sunnier climate.

Birds seen during visit:
  1. Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
  2. Australasian Shoveler [sp] (Anas rhynchotis)
  3. Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea)
  4. Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus)
  5. White-faced Heron [sp] (Egretta novaehollandiae)
  6. Little Pied Cormorant [sp] (Microcarbo melanoleucos)
  7. Tasmanian Nativehen (Tribonyx mortierii)
  8. Masked Lapwing [sp] (Vanellus miles)
  9. Brown Thornbill [sp] (Acanthiza pusilla)
  10. Grey Butcherbird [sp] (Cracticus torquatus)
  11. Dusky Woodswallow [sp] (Artamus cyanopterus)
  12. Forest Raven (Corvus tasmanicus tasmanicus)


  1. It sounds like an interesting day. The birds and animals don't seem to mind the rain as long as it's not too heavy. The other day up here was showery all day and there were birds all round the yard. Just too wet to get the camera out.

  2. You certainly had an interesting day. Love the hoary grebes (and the wombats, even if they aren't birds)

  3. Nice to see wombats up close. Always hoped to see rare hairy-nose inland up this way, but sole site Epping) is strictly closed apart from scientific access.

  4. Thanks mick, Wren, and Tony - Certainly was an interesting day. Surprised I didn't see more ducks ;-)

    Would love to see a Hairy-nosed wombat myself.